thing 7: Information Has Value

Recommended Readings, Resources, and Examples

Wallis, L. (2015). Digital Labor and Metaliteracy: Students as Critical Participants in Profit-Driven Social Media Environments. LOEX Fall Focus.

Choose Your Own Adventure Activity

Select one of the following activities to complete:

  1. Locate an example of an article or lesson plan that describes an approach to teaching using the frame Information Has Value. In a comment, post a link to the article or lesson plan (or a citation if paywalled) along with a short summary of what you read. How could you adapt or build upon this approach at your own institution?
  2. Drawing inspiration from one of the recommended readings, draft your own lesson plan related to the frame Information Has Value. Upload your lesson plan to Project CORA and/or the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy Sandbox, and post a link to it here.


  1. For Thing 7, I went back to the Framework video series by Cristina Colquhoun of Oklahoma State University (OSU), entitled “Inform Your Thinking – Information has value”. I really enjoy the way her library has handled the presentation of the frames. The videos get the message across in an appealing, easy to understand fashion. The “Inform Your Thinking” videos are followed by a series of questions that students answer in a google form. The last question for the “Information has Value” video asks the students in part, to provide examples of research at OSU that could be considered valuable and how the value of that research is demonstrated. I would not adapt this assignment. I would love to hear our students’ answers to this question to find out their impressions of the research that is done at our institution. It is likely that many students do not know that our institution does research, hearing their impressions would be enlightening.


  2. Joanna M. Burkhardt’s book Teaching Information Literacy Reframed: 50+ Framework-Based Exercises for Creating Information-Literate Learners contains clear explanations of each Framework followed by exercises. Her chapter “Information Has Value” breaks down different ways in which information has value, including copyright versus fair use, open access, public domain, plagiarism, citations, and personal information (117-126).

    The exercise I have selected will help students understand that items on the internet are not free and that there may be numerous costs associated with putting together a website.

    I have opted to paraphrase and quote from Exercise 54, “Is It Free?”: In order for students to learn and understand the costs behind creating a website, the instructor asks students to review a selected website and determine who pays for the following items:
    Domain name
    Upkeep and maintenance
    Subscription or membership
    Internet connectivity
    Computers, tablets, phones used to access
    Servers (132)


    Burkhardt, Joanna M. Teaching Information Literacy Reframed: 50+ Framework-Based Exercises for Creating
    Information-Literate Learners. Neal-Schuman, 2016.

    [I was unable to put the title of Burkhardt’s book in italics.]


  3. I have an idea relevant to this frame, but I haven’t tried it yet. I don’t feel like I can fully develop it until I’m working with a class that has an actual need for it. So here’s my mushy, undercooked idea.

    The lesson plan would be for art students, undergraduates or graduates, about fair use. Artists are constantly creating information but might not consider their work as information. They also might encounter a want or need to incorporate the work of others into their own, but what’s legal? This can help them value their own information and the information of others more.

    Perhaps the class could start with an overview of some fair use cases in the arts. I’m particularly thinking of a great workshop on fair use that I attended at the 2017 ARLIS Conference in New Orleans that did this. When briefly going over each case, ask students what they would think as the creator of the original work and the creator of the work under question. I could also see this as splitting the students into groups and have each group be assigned a case, read over some information on it, then quickly summarize it for the class.

    I’d also take the time to show them how to find public domain images to avoid the fair use fiasco and perhaps inspire them to incorporate the work of others into their own.

    Another take-away I’d include would be the general guidelines for fair use.


  4. The assignment, Inform Your Thinking: Information Has Value, from the ACRL Framework Sandbox (, contributed by Christina Colquhoun (Oklahoma State University), is another short (less than 3 minutes) video which helps students understand the value of the information provided, as well as the value of their access to this information. Four questions are listed, which require that students describe what the value of information means to them, and to provide their name and institution email address for credit.

    This video could be adapted by specifying the resources that we make available to our students at our institution. This adaptation would hopefully pique students’ interests into these valuable resources.

    Questions could be adapted as follow, with students providing answers in no less than 3 complete sentences:

    Do you acknowledge the value of information in your own research? If so, how?

    If your access to information was restricted or limited, how do you think it would affect your academic research? How would it affect your personal research?

    What kind of information is valuable to you in your daily life? How about in school? Is there a difference in the type of information you value depending on the setting?

    What type of information do you normally provide when signing up for social media? (for example: name, email address, date of birth, current location, etc.). Have you considered how valuable this information is to others, such as advertisers? Will you continue to provide this information? Why or why not?


  5. I read the following articles (and viewed the slides):
    Mapping and Sharing the Consumer Genome by Natasha Singer, Mining Student Data Could Save Lives by Michael Morris, and a response to that article as a letter to the editor called 1984 was a Warning Against Data Mining. All of these resources bring up the following point in one way or another, and that is that our data is given away to companies for free and we provide information and influence and we often do not even realize it. I think this gives an excellent opportunity to teach students about their role in acknowledging others’ contributions and the ethics behind that.
    Here is the lesson I found in the ACRL Sandbox:
    With so much visual information shared personally, I am not sure students always grasp the need to attribute correctly. Although in an education setting fair use is usually in play, I think it is important to get students used to the idea of correct attribution during their educational experience. If they are in the real world, failure to attribute could cost someone their reputation.
    This lesson plan does a quick script talking about copyright, credibility, and transparency within the context of a presentation. They take the students through groups of slides and ask questions about citing the source–like where does it come from, how do you know, why does it matter, etc. The lesson then goes into places to find images that can be used and how to cite them. The lesson plan also addresses whether you should cite your own image! The librarian is then to have a discussion about intellectual property and why it is important, how citing provides credibility and authority, how it protects your own work, and how it helps against plagiarism.There is a final slide that shows best practice on crediting images–they don’t go into a lot of details about correct citing format, but rather on the WHY.
    This lesson could be used pretty much as is in a class where there is an emphasis on presenting and visuals. We do have a business class here where I did a plan to briefly discuss the ethical use of images, but a more in depth lesson would be a good idea in other classes as well. I like the way the lesson is structured and scaffolds the concepts, leading to what the finished product should look like and why.


    • On several occasions I have had to teach classes where students may be using images for a final project that was a website or posted in a public facing shared wiki. A public e-portfolio if you will. This exercise by Alexander Justice is a better designed version of what I had attempted to do:

      We have access to ArtSTOR and several Streaming Video databases that students and faculty often use for in class presentations or embedding in our LMS, so the issue of copyright is covered by the Fair Use Doctrine in that particular instance.

      With this exercise students are required to explore who owns the rights to any images they intend to use. I would direct them to this Research Guide:

      as well as show them how to search Wikimedia Commons and Flickr with the limiters of copyright permissions.

      Part of this discussion should include the fact that if they are sharing their artwork, performances, or talents that they have the right to claim copyright and can use to explore how they want to share their creative works.



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